Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | January 15, 2010

birth story part 4:coming home from the hospital and the first two weeks

The first afternoon home was great. The first night was not so great. She was fussy most of the night, and neither S nor I got any sleep. By morning, we were a mess. She was fine during the day again, and that night we tried a different system.  I slept downstairs in the living room on the couch with the baby in the bassinet, and S slept upstairs so he could get some sleep.

There’s no reason for us both to be up at the same time, since I’m the one who has to feed her.  It was far easier for me to get up and down off the couch than in and out of bed. My incision hurt quite a bit when I would go to lie down and get up in bed. However, the couch is not all that comfortable either. After a few days, we moved up to the baby’s room. I sleep in the queen guest bed with her in the snuggle nest, or sometimes when we are really desperate, in her bouncy seat.  It has been working pretty well. S will come and help if he gets woken up by the crying that accompanies diaper changes and frustration waiting for milk.

The first two weeks went by crazy fast. We took her to see her pediatrician, we visited the in laws a couple of times (brief visits that were not worth the time and energy to pack up baby stuff and drive over there), and took her to a bookstore to buy the dvd of Happiest Baby on the Block. We nervously took her to a couple of food places (a deli, and an informal restaurant).  Her umbilical cord stump fell off at 2.5 weeks, she got her first real bath, and she outgrew her “coming home from the hospital” outfit.  The nursery still doesn’t feel ready, but it is functional. I still need to hang things on the walls. We set up the baby monitor the other day. I am a nut and bought this monitor so I can stop going to check and see if she is breathing. Of course she has to actually sleep in the crib in order to use the movement monitor.

With S now back at work (another post will be coming on that), the nights have been unpredictable. The night before his first day back was awful. She screamed off and on from 10pm to 2am. The next night she mercifully slept from 10:30pm to 1:30am and again from 2:30 to 6:30 and didn’t wake S up at all. The following night, it was screaming until 1am. She is such a good, relatively easy baby during the day, but at night, she has some times when she just screams. Is it colic? Reflux? Overstimulation? There is nothing more distressing than not being able to soothe her. It’s not often that it happens, but it’s like a ticking bomb waiting to go off.

I should probably clarify something about the direction of this blog. As my life evolves, so will this blog. I intend to be very honest about parenting after infertility. It’s not all rainbows and puppies and butterflies. It is so wonderful to have this amazing little baby here in our arms finally, but it’s challenging too. After going through so much to get here, you hope you will get one of those magical super easy babies that sleep and look cute all the time, but that probably isn’t realistic. I don’t mean to sound complainy at all, because I am so, so thankful, and I love her more than I even imagined possible, but there are times when I have no idea what to do, when she is screaming and I’m crying and I can’t figure out what the hell is wrong. I would say that 90% of the time, she is great and happy and easy, but that other 10%, I fall apart. I know it will get easier once we are all sleeping more. It could be so, so much worse.

I also want to say that I totally get it if some people stop reading this blog because of baby being mentioned all the time. I deleted a bunch of pregnancy and new baby blogs from my reader during several periods of time during IF treatments. I understand. I so hope that all of my bloggy friends get their dreams fulfilled during this new year. I hope that I can support you guys just as you have supported me throughout this journey. I don’t know how I would have got through the last year and a half without all of you.

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Responses

  1. I’m not going anywhere though…because I need to be prepared for this reality. 🙂 Thanks for sharing it honestly.

  2. I never deleted blogs of people who got pregnant. It made me hopeful. I am pretty prepared for the reality of a baby, having worked in daycare for seven years. I did not even WANT children for years, because I was so burnt out from taking care of other peoples children. So I am ready for nonstop wailing. Unfortunately, some babies just cry. A LOT. Hopefully not mine. But we’ll see.

  3. I of course am thrilled about your honesty, because I intend to be just as honest in a few weeks about my own experience and your posts, I’m sure, will make me feel normal. It’s so good to hear from you and to hear the real deal about what’s going on with you — the good, the bad and the ugly.

    Hang in there. I just read this piece by I think Juliana Marguiles in O magazine (which is actually really good even if you don’t like Oprah) about her first weeks with her son. She said she was up one night with him screaming his head off and was all distressed about the lack of sleep she was getting. She said suddenly she heard her mother’s voice telling her this won’t be forever. That as much as it sucked in that moment, that particular phase was fleeting and soon they’d be sleeping and onto a new phase (and soon he’d be 14 and growing up). That during difficult moments it’s easy to believe that they’ll stretch on forever and it helps to remind yourself that it’s a temporary state. I don’t know if this is all complete BS or if it helps when you’re actually in one of those phases as you are. But I thought it was worth holding onto mentally so I’m passing it on in case it’s helpful to you.

  4. Lurker here, second comment.

    It’s an interesting thing to have the baby (or be pregnant) after years of trying. Our journey was not as tumultuous as some, but it nonetheless took two years and lots of testing to get us to where we are now (25wks knocked up). When trying, I was sometimes bitter about people that complained about “pregnancy sinuses” and other related aches and pains. I wanted those aches and pains. Fast forward and I had “morning sickness” all day until 21 weeks. And it was hard. Not just to be sick, but to remain grateful, and to not be hurtful to friends who weren’t yet pregnant and who would have been happy to be throwing up.

    All that is my way of saying, of course you are thrilled with your baby girl, but of course it’s going to be challenging, and you’ll be frustrated, and complain and that’s part of parenthood. Your gratefulness is not decreased by the challenges. It’s all part of the journey.

    Unrelated – I’m dying to know what name you chose!

  5. Please bring on the realism! I know it won’t be sunshine and light either, and it’s great to know from the horse’s mouth just what it could be like.
    Hope the nighttimes start to get better soon!

  6. My blog will be making the same transition soon, so I’m with you there.

    I can imagine how hard it is and sometimes it’s just what you can do to get by. These days will be gone so quickly, I’m sure I’ll miss them at some point when I get there.

    I got a babysense monitor (which is similar to yours). I’m paranoid like that too. We tested it out by letting the cat sleep in the crib… I think I just wanted an excuse to see how cute the cat would be in the crib 🙂

  7. Hello!! Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. It’s funny, she was the exact weight and height as our little girl! Thank you for posting your birth story – I am having so many of the same difficult times (particularly with b/f and with lots of crying in the evening and early night). Everyone tells me it will get easier…trying to keep the faith!

    Remember when we emailed a while back that someday we would get together with our babies? That was before either of us were pregnant, and I can’t believe we both ended up with baby girls, born a week apart. So…when you make a visit back home we have to get together. Maybe a picnic on the Square?

    So, so, so happy for you!
    XOXO, Betsy

  8. wow. i know it seems like a lot, but everything is totally normal. two awesome pieces of advice that i continually tell myself:

    1) the whole process is NOT linear. your baby might sleep through the night on Monday, but then the next several weeks she acts like the first night again. i like to think of it as one step forward, two steps back.

    and

    2) we get so upset when babies cry. it’s their only way to communicate so we spend so much energy trying to understand them. are they hungry/tired/lonely/bored/in pain/dirty/etc? then they get a little older and we realize that they are crying b/c they want green socks and they have on red.

    🙂

    so excited to read your story. the whole process is so fun b/c they change every day!!

    xoxo

  9. Our baby was the exact same way…she just had her days and nights confused…it gets better. Also, she slept in the bouncy chair MANY nights. I really think it’s just whatever works at this point.


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